HOUSE BILL NO. 186
On Mar. 20, 2023, the Associated Press reported the passage of a veto-proof bill to bring back the Gem State's firing squad as a means of execution. The AP writes the state had done away with its "never-used firing squad option in 2009, but has been unable to secure the drugs needed for lethal injection executions."
While public support for capital punishment has waned over the decades, the Death Penalty Information Center reports there are still 27 states that utilize it. If approved and signed by Governor Brad Little, a Mar. 9 report issued by Pew concludes Idaho would join Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Utah in assembling a firing squad when lethal injection is unavailable.
If Little were to pass the controversial bill, who would make the squad? If Idaho models its firing squad after Utah's, the AP reports shooters would be "chosen from a pool of volunteer officers, with priority given to those from the area where the crime happened."
Utah Republican Paul Ray, an enthusiastic supporter of Wild West-like execution method, says "there are always more volunteers than spots on the squad."
CIVILIAN SQUAD SHOOTERS
We imagine Idaho law enforcement officers would express an interest similar to that of Utah's in joining a state's firing squad.
We can also imagine how private citizens would react if Idaho permitted civilians to join the squad! Oh, the crazies that would emerge from every back-woods community from around the Gem State! We shudder to think of how long that waiting list would be.
And what would that look like anyhow? Would civilians have to demonstrate their marksmanship in a competition-like event hosted by local LEOs? Would Veterans receive preferential consideration? What about the victimized families? If Little signs the bill, will Idaho go a way of its own in selecting its squad members?
Would you support or join the Idaho firing squad if you could? Email me with your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org!